NEW YORK — Teen-pop purveyor Jive Records once again ruled the year-end charts in 2000, claiming three of the 10 bestselling albums of the year. But Universal Music Group hung on to its title as the world’s biggest recorded music group, capturing nearly 30% of the current release market, according to SoundScan’s year-end music industry report.
Topping the year’s album rankings was ‘N Sync’s “No Strings Attached” (Jive), which sold 9.9 million copies. The album is no stranger to sales records — it set another one in April by moving 2.4 million units in its debut week alone. Also hitting the top 10 for Jive were Britney Spears’ “Oops! … I Did it Again” in third place (7.9 million), and the Backstreet Boys’ “Black & Blue” at No. 8 (4.3 million).
Coming in at No. 2 was Universal Music’s crown jewel, “The Marshall Mathers LP” by Detroit rapper Eminem, with 7.9 million records sold in 2000.
Release is one of many successes this year for U’s flagship Interscope label, which on its own garnered nearly 10% of the music market. Interscope also hit it big with Dr. Dre’s “Dr. Dre 2001” and Limp Bizkit’s “Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog-Flavored Water,” which have sold 4 million and 3.7 million copies, respectively, to date. “Dr. Dre 2001” dropped into ninth place on the album charts, while “Starfish” just missed the top 10.
Those records helped power U to the top spot among the big five music distributors for the second year running, with 28% of all current release sales (excluding sales of back-catalog titles) in 2000.
Coming in second was Jive distributor BMG Entertainment with 19.4%. The distribution arms of Sony Music and Warner-Elektra-Atlantic came in third and fourth, respectively, with current shares of 15.4% and 13.5%. Rounding out the group in fifth was EMI Music Distribution, with an 8.7% share.
When catalog sales were added into the mix, however, the picture changed somewhat. U and BMG still went one-two in total album sales at 26.8% and 16.3%, respectively, but WEA supplanted Sony at No. 3 with 15.5% to Sony’s 15.2%.
EMI was still fifth, but its share leapt to 9.7%. Capitol’s “1” compilation of Beatles hits ranked sixth on the 2000 sales rankings, moving more than 5 million copies in just seven weeks.
Also in the top-10 album rankings for the year were Creed’s “Human Clay” (Wind-Up) at No. 4, Santana’s Grammy-sweeping collaborative hit “Supernatural” (Arista) at No. 5, rapper Nelly’s “Country Grammar” (Universal) at No. 7 and “The Writing’s on the Wall” by Columbia’s Destiny’s Child in the 10th spot.
Overall, the industry sold 785.1 million albums in 2000, up 4% from 754.8 million in 1999. Over this year’s holiday season (Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve), sales growth slowed to a 2.4% rise over the same period a year earlier. The bulk of that growth came during a single surge in the week just before Christmas, when holiday shoppers snapped up 45.4 million records — the biggest single sales week since SoundScan began keeping records in 1991.
R&B and rap once again were the runaway genre winners this time around. R&B sales grew to 197 million from 175 million, and rap sales swelled to 106 million from 88 million. The catch-all “alternative” category also gained ground, moving 131 million units in 2000 compared with 121 million in 1999.
Latin music, billed as the big success story of 1999 with monster hits from the likes of Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony, cooled a bit in 2000, selling 21.9 million records to last year’s 22.2 million. Also in decline were country, gospel, jazz, classical and soundtrack releases.
The overall slowdown in soundtrack sales didn’t hinder the performance of the “Mission: Impossible 2” soundtrack (Hollywood), which drew on songs from such hit metal acts as Limp Bizkit, Metallica and Godsmack. The “M:I-2” soundtrack scanned a total of 1.3 million units in 2000 to become the 56th biggest album of the year.